The Faculty of the Doctoral School Transitions to Sustainability (T2S) consists of 17 Principal Investigators (PIs) and 8 Associated Faculty Members from eight Departments and the Centre for Development Research of BOKU:

  • Department of Water - Atmosphere – Environment
  • Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards
  • Department of Landscape, Spatial and Infrastructure Sciences
  • Department of Economics and Social Sciences
  • Department of Forest and Soil Sciences
  • Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems
  • Department of Crop Sciences
  • Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering
  • Centre for Development Research

Principal Investigators

Thomas ERTL is Professor at the Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control. The main focus of his research has been the optimisation of management of urban drainage systems. He is an expert in innovative inspection technology and worked together with UK and NL asset management experts within the IAHR-IWA Specialist Group on Sewer Processes and Networks. In numerical modelling of urban water infrastructure he worked with Univ. of Graz and Innsbruck. Within a national consortium he developed a method for the integration of wastewater treatment plants into regional energy concepts. Actual research is about green infrastructure for stormwater retention and pollution control.
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Markus FIEBIG is Professor at the Institute of Applied Geology in the Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards. The focus of his research has been the development of palaeoclimate and related landscapes in Alpine mountain regions worldwide. He is an expert in physical dating of landforms and geological mapping of young environments. In hydrogeological investigations he works together with the Vienna Water Management company (WGM). Within a international consortium he develops new approaches to study Alpine palaeoclimate in relation to modeling of future water supply. An intended international continental drilling project focus on the genesis of Alpine valleys. Actual research is about the relation between mankind and earth history in the frame of geoethics.
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Christoph GÖRG is Professor of Social Ecology at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences. Major research areas include conceptual work on Society-Nature-Relations and on inter- und transdisciplinary research. Empirical analyses focus of Social-Ecological Transformations, including work on multiple social-ecological crises, on the transformation of politics and the state and the implementation of the SDGs. He is speaker of an Austrian Research Network on Social-Ecological Transformation and part of an ERC-advanced grant Mat-Stocks which deals with the role of material stocks for the transformation towards sustainability. 

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Georg GRATZER is Associate Professor and deputy head of the Institute of Forest Ecology at the Department of Forest and Soil Sciences. He is head of the steering group of BOKU’s Centre for Development Research. His research interests gravitate around sustainable development and dynamic processes in forest ecosystems and spans many continents, providing a global perspective on mountain forests and human communities.  He also directs the Mountain Forestry Graduate Program, which brings masters students together from around the world – particularly mountainous regions of Africa, the European Alps, and the Himalayas. He is committed to improving livelihoods in poor countries through University education and research for development. Since the adoption of the Agenda 2030, he explores the potential of the SDGs for tackling global challenges and on the role of Universities in reaching them.
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Astrid GÜHNEMANN is Professor of Transport for Sustainable Development and Head of the Institute for Transport Studies. Her research focus is on the development of methods for sustainability assessment in transport, based on environmental and ecological economics and system dynamics modelling in transport with the aim to analyse long-term impacts of transport policies, strategies, infrastructure investments, technological and societal changes. She has taken a leading role in many European and national research projects that aimed at assessing the impacts of transport and developing innovative policies to deal with them.

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Karl HOGL is Professor at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences and head of the Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy (InFER). He has managed national and international research co‐operations and projects, including inter-disciplinary projects, was coordinator of a EU Framework Programme project on “New Modes of Governance for Sustainable Forestry in Europe”. The focus of his research is forest policy including related domains such as climate policy, nature conservation policy and, more recently, policies for the protection against natural hazards (in particular flood risk management) . As a renowned expert, he was member of the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP), an initiative of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and several other organisations (including UNEP, FAO, UNDP, and UNFCCC) that provide independent scientific knowledge on forestry issues to policy makers on an international level. Furthermore, he is active in research-based policy advice, e.g. for associations, federal ministries, and the European Commission.
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Marion HUBER-HUMER is Full Professor for Global Waste Management at the Department Water- Atmosphere-Environment, and Head of the Institute of Waste Management (ABF-BOKU). She has founded and led the international IWWG-task group CLEAR for 15 years and is now board member of the IWWG (International Waste Working Group), board member of the ÖVA (Austrian Association for Management of Contaminated Sites), and vice president of ISWA-Austria. Her current research focuses on the investigation of sustainable global waste management concepts and circular economy approaches, biological waste processing, nano-waste treatment, sustainable landfill technologies, process and emission monitoring.
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Hans-Peter KAUL is Full Professor in Agronomy at BOKU University. Currently he is head of the DNW and Division of Agronomy. By training, he is a field agronomist with a traditionally wide range of research subjects. He has long-time experience in agronomy, field crop production, agroecology and modelling. Since many years, he works mainly on grain crops (cereals, oilseeds and legumes) in cropping systems and their physiology. In his group, he initiated and supervised specific projects on root research, water and phosphorus use efficiency, underutilized crops, energy crops and crop rotation effects. With regard to the T2S program, his projects are regularly addressing real world problems and he will can significant contributions within the following BOKU fields of competence: (i) Soil and agro-ecological systems, (ii) Living space and landscape, (iii) Renewable resources and resource-efficient technologies and (iv) Food, nutrition and health.
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Jochen KANTELHARDT is Professor of Business Management of Sustainable Agricultural Systems. He currently heads the Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences. He has extensive research experience in farm management, agricultural economics as well as agricultural and agri-environmental policy analysis. His research focus is on the questions of optimal farm development, benefits and costs of agricultural programs and the optimal combination of policy instruments from farm perspective. He has extensive experience in interdisciplinary and participatory research and he is leading and contributing to many national and international projects (H2020, FP7). Currently, he is president of the Austrian Society of Agricultural Economics (ÖGA) and he is leading the Centre of Agriculture (CAS) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. 
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Andreas MUHAR is Professor in Sustainable Landscape Development, Transdisciplinarity and Knowledge Integration at the Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning. His research focus is on theory and practice of inter- and transdisciplinary research and on the linkages between understandings of the human-nature-relationship and environmental behaviour. Practical application fields are related to transformation towards sustainability, in particular regarding energy transition, nature conservation and landscape-based tourism.

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Marianne PENKER is Professor for Rural Sociology and Rural Development at the Institute for Sustainable Economic Development. She is fascinated by interacting and co-evolving social and ecological systems and transnational comparisons of rural development. For two decades, she has approached rural development issues from a socio-institutional perspective, with an empirical focus on agro-food systems, landscapes, renewable energy, demographic and climate change. Sustainable rural development requires the collective management of commons, such as landscapes, natural resources, culinary or cultural heritage. In this context, she wants to understand how formal rules, social norms and values interact and co-evolve with land use practices.
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Tobias PRÖLL is professor for Energy Technology and Energy Management (ETEM) at the Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering of BOKU. His background is chemical and energy engineering with a focus on high temperature fuel conversion and gas separation processes. Research by the ETEM group addresses technological challenges in energy efficiency and sustainable energy supply. Current research projects range from system-level studies on combined photovoltaic and battery storage systems or charging infrastructure design for electric vehicles via experimental studies on heat pumps and refrigeration units down to detailed fluid-dynamic optimization of gas-solid contactors or optimization of specific industrial production units. Tobias Pröll contributes to teaching in the field of Energy and Environmental Engineering.
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Johann SÖLKNER is Professor of Animal Breeding and Population Genetics and currently head of the Division of Livestock Sciences. He is an animal geneticist and livestock breeder with great interest in high tech as well as low tech solutions. Along the high tech route, he uses high throughput genomic data for support of breeding decisions and a better understanding of the biology of livestock species. In developing countries, he tries to help establish simple breeding programs for genetic gains and a better livelihood of livestock keepers. Sölkner is currently vice president of the European Federation of Animal Science.

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Christoph WINCKLER is Professor for Livestock Ecology at the Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems. His research is rooted in animal welfare science and focuses on (on-farm) welfare assessment (e.g. development and validation of animal-based welfare indicators, assessment of affective states), health and welfare improvement strategies (including epidemiological approaches) as well as the trade-offs/synergies regarding animal welfare and other aspects of sustainability of livestock farming. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the field of animal behaviour, livestock husbandry, welfare assessment and organic livestock husbandry.

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Maria WURZINGER is Senior Scientist at the Livestock Division and at the Center for Development Research. Her research focuses on livestock production systems in marginal areas in the global South. Using a participatory research approach, she develops breeding strategies for smallholder farmers. She is also interested in documenting local knowledge and identifying and testing possible intervention strategies for a more sustainable livestock production. She also cooperates with different universities in the Global South on the development of innovative curricula in the field of Animal Sciences at Bachelor and Masters level.

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Werner ZOLLITSCH is Professor for Sustainability of Livestock Production Systems with the Division of Livestock Sciences of the Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems. He is also head of the BOKU-Centre of Global Change and Sustainability. His main research interests are directed towards analysis of sustainability aspects of livestock production systems; impacts of feeding strategies on various aspects of animal production, particularly in a low-input and organic farming context and feed resource development for livestock production are also covered. Teaching activities focus on livestock production systems, sustainability assessment of livestock production and feeding strategies in organic farming. 
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Associated Faculty Members

Iris EISENBERGER is Professor of Law and Head of the Institute of Law at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Her research focuses on law and innovation, technology law, research law as well as didactics of law. She has wide experience in interdisciplinary research and in running and participating in nationally and internationally funded research projects in the field of law, technology and society. She received her venia docendi for Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and the related fields of European Law for her book on Innovation in Law from Vienna University in 2014. She has held visiting positions at numerous international Universities, including Harvard University, Technical University of Munich and the European University Institute.
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Katharina GUGERELL is Tenure Track Professor for Sustainable Land-Use at the Institute of Landscape Planning. She is curious about sustainability transitions with a focus on sustainable land-use, minerals resources governance, spatial development and governance capacities. Her research is based on i-td (inter-transdisciplinary) approaches incorporating creative methods such a serious games, playful approaches and foresight methods in her work. Katharina is an elected member of the SUGI Food-Energy Nexus Expert Committee on Impact and Innovation Delivery. 

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Günter LANGERGRABER is senior scientist at the Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control. His research focus is on nature-based solutions (NBS) and resources-oriented sanitation systems, both as stand-alone research topics as well as in combination. To cope with global challenges, NBS are researched to create circular economy in urban settings. Interdisciplinary settings are required for implementation of these solutions. Currently he is Chair of the COST Action Circular City and leader of the Working Group on SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) in the UniNEtZ, a project in which 15 Austrian universities work together on developing options for achieving SDGs in Austria. 
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Stefanie LEMKE is professor and head of the Institute for Development Research, Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Her research experience spans more than 20 years, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Areas of work include the human right to adequate food/nutrition, gender, women’s rights, food/ nutrition security, sustainable diets, local food systems, sustainable livelihoods, governance of natural resources. She applies gender-transformative, rights-based, feminist, participatory and transdisciplinary approaches, co-conceptualizing research with local actors. She also worked as consultant for various civil service organizations in the fields of nutrition counselling and livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
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Andreas MELCHER is head of the Centre for Development Research (CDR). From 1996 to 2017 he worked as a senior scientist in aquatic ecosystem management and modelling at the institute of hydrobiology and aquatic ecosystem management (IHG). His work is based on trans-disciplinary and participatory concepts in applied environmental assessment and adaptive management processes, incorporating ecological and social system analyses – in particular, environmental monitoring and assessment, aquatic ecosystem management, and applied development research. One particular aim is to be engaged in implementing interdisciplinary research results into practice (SDGs). This expanding scope of a cross over applied research has naturally incorporated ecological cause effect analyses, system analyses, social and gender aspects. His scientific interest also includes capacity building in higher education in countries such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Bhutan, Nepal or Iran.
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Petra RIEFLER is Professor at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences. She heads the Institute of Marketing and Innovation. Having a management background, her research area is consumer behavior in terms of attitude formation and purchase decision processes. Her substantive work focuses on consumers’ response to local/regional/global branding strategies, consumers’ attitude towards green products, and the role of framing in sustainable marketing claims, among others. Her methodological work relates to scale development, measurement models in survey research, structural equation models, and experimental study designs.

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Johannes SCHMIDT is Associate Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Economic Development. His current main research interests are linked to the integrated modelling of energy systems with high shares of renewables. He is interested in developing a comprehensive approach to the assessment of renewable energies, including technical, economic, social, and ecological aspects into his research. He is PI of the ERC Starting Grant project reFUEL (https://refuel.world), which deals with integrated analysis of trade with renewable energy carriers and associated impacts on land-use. 

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Yusak SUSILO is BMK Endowed Professor in Digitalisation and Automation in Transport and Mobility System and the Head of DAVeMoS endowed research group at the Institute for Transport Studies. His research interest is on individual’s travel behaviours and decision making processes, and the interaction of such mechanisms with changes in activity locations, urban form, policies, environments and technology characteristics. Users' adaptation and learning processes towards new options, such as digitalisation, automation and other new technologies to have been the focus of his research in recent years.

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